Mom’s Unhealthy Diet May Harm 3 Generations
A new study with mice suggests that Moms who eat high-sugar, high-fat diets might put future generations at risk for metabolic problems, even when their offspring consumes healthy diets.
Other studies have showed that woman’s health in pregnancy can affect her child’s weight later in life. This new research is the first to point out that even before becoming pregnant, if a woman is obese it can cause genetic abnormalities that consequently are passed through the female bloodline to at least three generations, which can increase the risk of obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Mother’s obesity can impair the health of later generations. This is mostly important because more than two-thirds of reproductive-age women in the United States are overweight or obese.
The research indicates that a mother’s obesity and its associated metabolic problems can be inherited through mitochondrial DNA found in the unfertilized egg. Mitochondria’s job is to supply energy for metabolism and for other biochemical processes. These cellular structures have their own sets of genes, inherited ONLY from mothers, not fathers.
More research is needed to determine if a regular diet low in sugar and fat, in addition to regular exercise, may reverse genetic metabolic abnormalities.